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USC Upstate (10-18)
3/29/2014 | Spartanburg, S.C. | Attendance: 109
Saturday, March 29, 2014
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Lipscomb baseball team struggled at the plate Saturday in a 6-3 loss to USC Upstate in the second game of a three-game Atlantic Sun Conference set at Harley Park.
The loss dropped the Bisons to 17-11, 6-2 in league play while Upstate haulted a seven-game skid to improve to 10-18, 2-6 in the A-Sun.
“Our team is never satisfied with a loss,” Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand said. “But Upstate played really well today. We never really could get much going until the last inning, but that is going to happen from time to time. We just have to try and take the series tomorrow.”
Senior lefty David Roseboom threw a gem for the Spartans, allowing seven hits in a complete-game.
“Upstate’s pitcher threw a great game,” Forehand said. “He did not walk a batter until the last inning. We had six or seven hits, but never really threatened. He pitched a great game and we have to tip our hat to him.”
Lipscomb did draw first blood in the fourth when junior shortstop Grant Massey slapped one over the center fielder’s head for his second triple of the season. Massey came around to score on a Drew Adams ground ball to short to give the Bisons a short-lived 1-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, Hunter Brothers put the leadoff man on base with a free pass. Stephen Dowling’s double to left center scored Luke Weber to knot the game at 1-1.
Daniel Fickas moved Dowling to third on a ground ball to Massey before Justin Allen’s single through the right side allowed Dowling to cross the dish to give Upstate a 2-1 lead.
After an Upstate single in the fifth, Brothers walked in a run after giving three straight free passes to make it 3-1 Spartans. Nick Andros would replace Brothers in the next at bat.
The 6-foot-4 lefty got out of trouble with no more damage, recording punch outs in his first two batters faced.
The Spartans tacked on another run in the sixth after getting a single and double to take the Upstate lead to 4-1.
Upstate got two insurance runs in the eighth to extend its lead to 6-1.
With Roseboom running on fumes, the Bisons tried to make it interesting in the ninth. Redshirt freshman Tyler Bethune led off the inning with a double into right center. Jonathan Allison followed up with a dribbler down the third base line and beat the throw to put runners on the corners. Massey was given his A-Sun leading 27th free pass to load the bases for Adams.
The senior outfielder hit a ball up the middle that the shortstop grabbed and tossed to the bag to get the out at second, but an errant throw from second baseman Erik Samples advanced Adams to second as the ball sailed into the Lipscomb dugout. Allison and Bethune scored on the play for the last runs of the game as Tyson Ashcraft and Sistrunk were both punched out.
“We came back late, but it just was not enough with their guy on the mound throwing like he was,” Forehand said. "Ashcraft and Sistrunk had some great at-bats, but unfortunately they couldn’t get a good lick on it with a runner on base.”
Brothers took the loss and fell to 0-1 on the year. He worked 4.1 innings giving up five hits and three runs, with five strikeouts and five walks.
With the complete-game win, Roseboom took his record to 2-4. He allowed seven hits and two earned runs while striking out six with just one walk.
The rubber match between the Bisons and Spartans will be at noon CT on Sunday. Sophomore Denton Norman (3-1) will get the nod on the bump for Lipscomb.
“Baseball is a game where you play the next day and don’t have to wait a week to play again,” Forehand said. “Getting back out here tomorrow and getting this bad taste out of our mouths will be exactly what we need."